See below for MAPS Public Benefit Corporation staff.
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master's thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary's Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife, dog, and empty rooms from three children, one of whom is in college and two have graduated.
Kris Lotlikar, Deputy Director
Kris Lotlikar serves as the Deputy Director for MAPS. Kris is an experienced entrepreneur and futurist. Kris founded Renewable Choice and served as President for fifteen years. Renewable Choice was a leading supplier of renewable energy to global corporations and clients included over 150 companies from the Fortune 500. It was awarded Green Power Supplier of the Year four times between 2011 and 2016 by the EPA. Renewable Choice was acquired by Schneider Electric in 2017. Kris has maintained a life-long commitment to drug policy reform since founding Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) twenty-two years ago. SSDP has grown to a UN-recognized NGO with a presence on 300 campuses in 32 countries. Kris has served on the Board of Directors for SSDP, the League of Young Votes, the Flex Your Rights Foundation, and the Arcview Group.
Betty Aldworth, Director of Communications and Events
Prior to becoming Director of Communications and Events at MAPS in 2020, Betty Aldworth was the Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy where she led and supported tens of thousands of students and young people united to build a more sensible future through reforming drug policies to be rooted in safety, justice, and education. Beginning in 2014, Betty led the organization through its most substantial growth period and in 2020 left the organization in its most stable and sustainable position in its year history. Since 1999, Betty has specialized in community engagement, public relations, advocacy, and policy reform for nonprofit organizations and, twice, businesses including as spokesperson and advocacy director for the successful 2012 Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the collaborative committee responsible for legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in Colorado. An activist and advocate since her first anti-nukes demonstration as a child, Betty organized her first action at 13 and learned her first hard lessons in coalition building when it was attended only by her mom. Betty fights to end the drug war to end mass incarceration, reengage citizens in the political process, and build racial and economic justice.
Rachel Parrish, Director of Marketing
Rachel Parrish is a marketing executive and proud Chicago native with experience integrating creative strategy across communications, social media, marketing, and external agencies to manage the global identity for major brands including the NBA, NBC Sports, State Farm, and United Way. Now Director of Marketing for MAPS, Rachel's professional aspirations are driven by innovation, connection, collaboration and curiosity, resulting in unique, award-winning campaigns for A-list celebrities, lifestyle tastemakers, and professional athlete spokespersons and endorsements.
Ismail L. Ali, J.D., Policy, Advocacy, and JEDI Counsel
As MAPS’ Policy & Advocacy Counsel, Ismail advocates to eliminate barriers to psychedelic therapy and research, develops and implements legal and policy strategy, and supports MAPS’ governance, non-profit, and ethics work. Ismail earned his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2016, after receiving his bachelor’s in philosophy from California State University, Fresno. Ismail has previously worked for the ACLU of Northern California’s Criminal Justice & Drug Policy Project, and Berkeley Law’s International Human Rights Law Clinic.
Ismail is licensed to practice law in the state of California, and is a founding board member of the Psychedelic Bar Association. He also currently serves on the board of the Sage Institute, contributes to Chacruna Institute’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants, and participates on the advisory council for the Ayahuasca Defense Fund. He has also previously served as Chair of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Board of Directors. Ismail is passionate about setting sustainable groundwork for a just, equitable, and generative post-prohibition world.
Ryan Jay Beauregard, Harm Reduction Programs Manager, Zendo Project
Ryan received his B.A. in psychology from Claremont McKenna College, and spent 10 years mentoring at-risk teens and families through wilderness survival skills and nature connection. His passion for community connection, the environment, and intrapersonal healing continued with his involvement in permaculture, natural building, and ancestral grief rituals. As a volunteer with the Zendo Project since 2013, Ryan has had the opportunity to connect and expand the scope of psychedelic harm reduction in communities and festivals all over the globe. As the Zendo Project Manager, he integrates his skills in psychology, design and and community engagement. When he isn’t on the road with the Zendo Project, Ryan can be found at his home in Boulder, CO enjoying the great outdoors, experimenting with sustainable technology, and designing websites, logos and sacred geometry art.
Aidan Boling, IT and Operations Administrator
Aidan is completing a B.S. in astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz with a special interest in dark matter and the evolution of structure in the universe. She is also fascinated by linguistics and speaks fluent Italian. Aidan has always had an interest in modes of healing for people challenged by certain physical or psychological conditions. From the age of 13 she has served as a volunteer for youth groups engaged in equestrian-assisted therapy programs. She is highly supportive of the great potential and possibilities which could be realized through the research promoted by MAPS, and is thrilled to bring her skills and enthusiasm to the team.
Leslie Booher, J.D., M.B.A., Policy and Advocate Associate
Leslie Booher received her bachelor of science (B.S.) in business administration and her master of business administration (MBA) from Southeast Missouri State University, as well as her juris doctor (J.D.) from University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Before joining MAPS, Leslie gained litigation experience at large and small law firms, from both the plaintiff and defense sides. Leslie is excited because her work at MAPS combines many of her passions: learning and educating others about our shared human physiology and psychology, striving for social contentment through imaginative socio-economic structures, aspiring for criminal justice reform, and calling attention to the unique role that altered states of perception play in conceptualizing, contextualizing, and coping with our own consciousness.
Kynthia Brunette, CRM Systems Specialist
Kynthia comes to MAPS with a B.A. in political science, an M.S. in human computer interaction, and a lifelong interest in models of personality and development. Her interests have evolved over the years into a fascination with the design of institutions, organizations, and experiences that serve as vehicles for transpersonal growth. She became involved with MAPS in late 2009, when she interned in the office during the planning period for "Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century"; since then she has worn a number of hats, and her current focus is the ongoing improvement of our constituent database, so that we can continue to scale our fundraising and education projects to meet the demands of Phase 3. She also still assists with volunteer management at events, and she has been a proud member of the Zendo Project team at Burning Man since 2012. She is honored to have the opportunity to meet and work with so many passionate, intelligent, and creative people, and she looks forward to continuing to support MAPS as it grows.
Grace Cepe, Communications Associate
Grace Cepe serves as the Communications Associate for MAPS. She has a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). At UCSC, Grace was a research assistant for the social psychology department’s Sexual and Gender Diversity Laboratory, instructor’s assistant for the Introduction to Psychology course, and residential counselor intern for at-risk youth. Before joining MAPS as Community Engagement Associate, Grace volunteered with MAPS and the San Francisco Psychedelic Society and has been an activist with Decriminalize Santa Cruz.
Since attending MAPS’ Psychedelic Science Conference in 2017, Grace’s interests in psychedelics evolved from a primary focus on the clinical applications of psychedelics and into Indigenous ways of life and ceremonial uses, human rights, social justice, and increasing inclusivity and diversity in the field of psychedelics. Outside of her psychedelic work, Grace loves getting involved with her community, spending time in nature, hip-hop and salsa dancing, and getting lost in a good book.
Merete Christiansen, Associate Director of Development
Merete earned her B.S. in biology at the State University of New York at Geneseo in 2012. While attending Geneseo, and after graduation, Merete cultivated her passion for community organizing and education through participating in student groups, teaching outdoor science, and becoming a certified yoga instructor. Since joining the MAPS team in 2014, Merete has provided administrative, operational, and programmatic support in her roles of Operations Associate and Executive Assistant to Rick Doblin, PhD. As Associate Director of Development, Merete coordinates the work of MAPS’ fundraising team through campaign and program management, grants management and narrative crafting, and supporting the cultivation of major gifts. Merete’s work with MAPS is driven by her belief that all people should have access to the information and tools they need in order to heal themselves.
Sara Gael, M.A., Harm Reduction Officer, Zendo Project
Sara received her master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa University. She began working with MAPS in 2012, coordinating psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events worldwide with the Zendo Project. She served as the Director of Harm Reduction at MAPS from 2017-2020. Sara continues to train individuals and organizations in principles of psychedelic peer support. She is a therapist for the MAPS clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder. She maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist specializing in trauma and psychedelic integration. She has presented at conferences, universities, and events around the world. She serves on the board of directors at DanceSafe and as the harm reduction advocate on the city of Denver psilocybin policy review panel. Sara believes that developing a comprehensive understanding of psychedelic medicines through research and education is essential for the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and the planet.
Liana Sananda Gillooly, Development Officer
Liana Sananda Gillooly is a lifelong advocate for social justice, drug policy reform, ending war, and environmental protection. Liana has worked as a gallerist, art curator, event producer, and held management positions at Greenpeace and Essential Living Foods. Before joining MAPS, she worked as Outreach & Partnerships Manager for a prominent cannabis investment and market research firm, The Arcview Group, where she helped grow the accredited investor network, advocated for legalization, and supported the work of Marijuana Policy Project. It was through her experience witnessing the exponential growth of the cannabis industry that she became inspired to co-found the non-profit North Star, working to integrate psychedelic wisdom into emerging industry surrounding the field of psychedelics, and Auryn Project, non-profit incubator for organizations building equitable, affordable, and accessible psychedelic medicine for all. She is a movement builder deeply committed to collective liberation, and works to build "the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible" by intersecting with movements in humane tech, regenerative ecology, indigenous protection, and purpose driven economics. She enjoys building connection with change-makers, and wrangling the resources needed to transform our world. She has been a featured speaker at numerous events, lobbied Congress, lectured MBA students, given a TedX talk, and is a member of the Summit and TED communities. She a trained death midwife, vipassana meditator, and immersive artist.
Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, M.S.W., Director of Policy and Advocacy
Natalie is the Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), where she works to disentangle science from political partisanship, and to create safe, equitable and regulated access to psychedelics, and all criminalized substances. She is also partnering with Israeli and Palestinian colleagues to develop a psychedelic peace-building study. Natalie is particularly inspired by psychedelics’ potential to assist in healing intergenerational trauma, for building empathy and community, and for inspiring creative and innovative solutions. Before joining MAPS in 2014, Natalie worked as a Policy Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, where she helped legalize medical cannabis in her home state of New York, and worked to end New York’s race-based marijuana arrests. Natalie received her B.A. in history from Yale, and her master’s of social work (M.S.W.) from Columbia.
Charleen Justice, Executive Assistant to the Founder and Executive Director
As a native Oregonian with the bona-fide spirit of trailblazer, Charleen has worked diligently to break the cycles of addiction and incarceration set forth by the generations who preceded her, and transform her diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) into posttraumatic growth. She was born and raised on Klamath Tribes land, which has given her a deep appreciation and admiration for indigenous communities and culture. Prior to becoming Rick’s sidekick, Charleen earned a B.S. in planning, public policy, and management with a minor in leadership and administrative skills from University of Oregon (UO), as a recipient of the Ford ReStart and Diversity Excellence Scholarships. During her undergrad she served as Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter leader, interned at Trauma Healing Project, participated in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, and volunteered at MAPS events from coast to coast. She worked for Women in Transition, the Development Office, and the Holden Center for Leadership and Community Engagement. She serves on the board of Edelic Center for Ethnobotanical Services and volunteers for the UO Prison Education Program. Assisting and empowering people from all walks of life to gain the knowledge, strength, and skills to heal (intergenerational) trauma is the work she feels called to do.
Beatriz Caiuby Labate, Ph.D., Public Education and Culture Specialist
Dr. Beatriz Caiuby Labate (Bia Labate) is a queer Brazilian anthropologist based in San Francisco. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, religion and social justice. She is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. She is Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is also co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil. She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty-two books, two special-edition journals, and several peer-reviewed articles.
Rudy Maldonado, Volunteer Engagement Associate
Rudy reached his position through persistent volunteering, combined with an open-minded approach to offering MAPS support in any way he saw possible. Before initially volunteering at MAPS, Rudy was a wrestling coach for children and adults. His interest in psychedelic integration formed his direction with MAPS as he brings a mentality of honesty and determination to the team. Psychedelic Science 2017 gave Rudy an opportunity to dive into the field of his passion, which was the jumping point of his career. He fulfills his dream to travel and meet new faces through supporting outreach events and psychedelic groups around the world.
Amy Mastrine, Web and Email Marketing Associate
Amy graduated from Penn State University in 2013 with a B.A. in advertising and a minor in sociology. Amy's exploration of ideas led her to the Institute for Humane Studies, a non-profit at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. At George Mason University, Amy worked on a video project called Learn Liberty while cultivating her skills in marketing and graphic design. Amy's interest in the synthesis of science and mysticism led her to MAPS. Amy loves to create and sell oil paintings, go for long walks, and fire dance.
Fede Menapace, Director of Strategy
Fede serves as the Director of Strategy for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Born and raised in the Trentino region in northern Italy, he began his career as a bridge engineer, working on road and railway bridge construction projects in the Italian Alps. He then joined McKinsey & Co. in Milan, Italy, where he worked as a management consultant advising multinational financial institutions. He later moved into the internet technology sector, most recently at Segment in San Francisco, where he built and led the Business Operations and Business Development teams.
In his role at MAPS, Fede aims to continue building bridges - this time across different organizations in the psychedelic medicine field - to further MAPS’ cause of providing broad and safe access to mental health treatments for those who are most in need. Fede also works on internal strategy projects to identify and execute growth opportunities for MAPS and its subsidiaries.
Fede received his M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his M.S. in structural engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Bryce Montgomery, Associate Director of Marketing Communications
Bryce studied film production at West Valley College, where they cultivated an interest in multimedia marketing. Bryce joined MAPS as Social Media Intern in June 2011, bringing their background in film production and social media to public education about psychedelics. Since 2013, Bryce has volunteered with the Zendo Project, providing psychedelic peer counseling and harm reduction for attendees at large-scale events. Bryce's work at MAPS combines all of his passions; ranging from using the internet to reach people worldwide, to creating visually stimulating multimedia projects.
Jami Murphy, Financial Controller
Jami is an experienced nonprofit financial executive with a passion for helping mission-driven organizations. She has an M.B.A. with a concentration in management and strategy as well as a B.S. in accounting from Western Governors University. Additionally, Jami possesses a certificate in servant leadership from Cornell University. Professional development is important to Jami. She is a certified fraud examiner and a certified administrator of school finance and operations.
Jami was drawn to the MAPS mission for helping people who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder. As a military veteran and the relative of first responders, she has witnessed how painful and limiting PTSD can be to those close to her.
In her spare time, Jami enjoys creating decorative vision boards, playing video games, reading, and vlogging. She resides in Marietta, Georgia with her husband Chris.
Shirelle Noble, Product Manager
Shirelle Noble (she/her) is a systems-thinker who brings over 10 years of strategy, marketing, operations, and product management experience to the emerging commercialization era of psychedelics.
She is interested in collaborating on the difficult problems facing our world: how do we heal people, communities, and the planet so we can thrive symbiotically? Shirelle is interested in psychedelic science, humane technology, regenerative solutions to the climate crisis, and building resilient communities.
Previously, Shirelle was on the executive team at rewardStyle, where she worked across the organization to improve sales team efficiency, execute partnerships and M&A activities, launch a consumer app to 3M+ consumers, and expand global operations in London and Shanghai. Prior to rewardStyle, Shirelle gained valuable strategy skills as a Consultant at Bain & Company in the Dallas and Melbourne offices. She has a B.B.A. in Finance and a B.A. in English from The University of Texas.
Shirelle grew up in Indonesia, Australia, and the U.S.A. She loves to travel, hike, practice Hatha yoga, dance, participate in dusty art projects, and pull pranks on people.
Galina Joyce Peters, Development Associate
Galina began her career in non-profit development ten years ago at the Downtown Women's Center, a center for homeless women in Los Angeles’ Skid Row, and has since worked for Friends of the Los Angeles River, the group behind America's largest urban river cleanup, served as a resident volunteer at Tashirat Orphanage in the remote mountains of Tepoztlán, Mexico, and has become involved with a diverse swath of intersecting social and environmental justice movements as a volunteer, event producer, writer, and fundraiser.
She was first introduced to MAPS at the Psychedelic Science 2013 conference in Oakland, California, where she volunteered to interview attendees about their psychedelic experiences for a short video. Profoundly moved by their stories, her interest in the potential of psychedelics for transformative personal and collective healing soon became a reverent fascination, and she is thrilled to join the MAPS team in service to this vision. She is originally from California and attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she studied English. Galina currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a certified yoga instructor, and enjoys live jazz, old books, calligraphy, thrift stores, and river picnics.
Chelsea Rose Pires, M.A., Registered Associate M.F.T., Harm Reduction Operations Manager, Zendo Project
Chelsea Rose Pires graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles Honors College with a B.A. in psychology in 2007, and received her master's degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2012. She has a passion for harm reduction as a therapeutic and practical approach to drug use and abuse prevention. Chelsea also works with DanceSafe, a public health organization, as manager for the reagent testing kit program. Additionally, she supervises the Crisis Response Team in Nevada County, supporting clients who come into the emergency room in psychiatric crisis. She lives in the Sierra foothills of California with her husband Alexandre, who is also involved in harm reduction work, their three children, and their chickens, fish, and kitties.
Julie Santos, Human Resources Manager
Julie Santos received a double major in anthropology and global studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, with a minor in Middle Eastern politics from the University of Granada. Julie launched her consulting company in 2007 and remained a consultant for almost 15 years, where she designed and launched programs and organizations in 6 different countries with team members that originated from almost every continent on the planet.
Her work experience stretches out across numerous fields from movie production to investment banking. Julie eventually landed in Haiti, just a few days after the 2010 earthquake, where she helped activist and actor Sean Penn launch J/P Haitan Relief Organization (now CORE). She spent the next few years working in disaster relief learning the importance of human connection, deep sadness, and the unexplainable magic that happens somewhere in the middle.
Before joining MAPS, Julie's consulting business was focused on educating organizations and foundations to create a culture that pushed power to the edges and allowed stakeholder participation to drive every stage of a design process. She believes that the only way to make a lasting positive impact is to create safe spaces where communities affected by a problem are supported to realize their own transformation and pave their own roads to success.
As the human resources manager at MAPS, Julie aspires to create a workplace where the change and healing we are trying to bring to the world, is reflected inwardly, with the way we treat ourselves, our teammates, and our MAPS community.
Tess Marin Shelley, Development Specialist
Tess graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2011 with a B.A. in psychology. While there, she worked in newspaper production and design at City on a Hill Press, where she was first introduced to MAPS’ work. Tess is working toward her M.A. in health economics and pharmacoeconomics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She has recently returned to California after two years in the Fiji Islands. She lives in West Marin, where she enjoys spending time with her family, bird watching, and spoiling her cat.
Jade Netanya Ullmann, Major Gifts Officer and Connector
Jade Netanya Ullmann is a seasoned fundraiser, philanthropist, activist, and community organizer. She is the former executive director of Romemu, a progressive Jewish spiritual community in New York City. Jade is an ambassador for the Social Venture Network, a nonprofit network of business leaders committed to justice and sustainability, as well as a member of the Threshold Foundation, which is dedicated to mobilizing financial resources to change the world. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Romemu, as well as ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and on the Advisory Board of Bernie Glassman’s Zen Peacemaker Order. She received her B.A. in contemplative psychology from Naropa University, where she was the campus organizer of Students for a Free Tibet. She began working with MAPS in early 2015 to expand the organization’s community visibility, and has since joined the staff as Major Gifts Officer and Connector. Jade is enthusiastic about inspiring others to recognize and support the visionary research and healing work of MAPS. She lives in New York City, where she was born and raised.
Jenni Vierra, Manager of Events and Community Engagement
Jenni graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in psychology and with a focus in peace and liberation studies. Jenni has always had an interest in the effects of psychedelics for individual and social healing and is grateful to work in this field, one in which she is passionate. Prior to working for MAPS, Jenni was an enthusiastic volunteer for the organization.
Whitney Wilhelmy, Communications and Marketing Associate
While earning her Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Berkeley, Whitney explored her passions for cognitive neuroscience, scientific approaches to consciousness, drug policy reform, and psychedelic research. For years, it has been her dream to professionally support the progress of psychedelic science and contribute to the expansion of effective healing modalities in a society deprived of mental health resources. Whitney has been providing psychedelic peer support with the Zendo Project since 2017, and her intention is to eventually pursue further education in the realm of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
Kan Yan, Strategy and Partnerships Officer
Kan serves as the Strategy and Partnerships Officer at MAPS. In his prior lives Kan worked as a humanitarian for the United Nations, a lawyer for the US Federal Courts, and a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. Kan is an executive coach and has designed and facilitated mindfulness-based leadership programs for executives at some of the largest organizations in the world. In his role at MAPS, Kan supports MAPS in developing strategies and partnerships that transform collective consciousness for the benefit of all. When not working Kan can be found roaming around his beloved city of Austin, TX—usually meditating, dancing, or both. Kan earned a JD from Harvard Law School and a MALD from the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC)
MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) is a Delaware public benefit corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of MAPS with the special purpose to balance income from legal sales of MDMA with the social benefits of MAPS' mission.
Amy Emerson, Chief Executive Officer (MAPS PBC)
Amy Emerson is the Chief Executive Officer at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. As the Chief Executive Officer, Amy has led the growth and development of this new subsidiary and is responsible for overall global regulatory strategy and implementation of research programs with a focus on the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy program within MAPS PBC.
Amy started as a pro bono consultant at MAPS in 2003, and since then has built MAPS’ clinical department while managing the MDMA Clinical Development Program with a focus on the PTSD indication. In 2014, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation was incorporated to focus on psychedelic drug development, therapist training programs, and future sales of prescription psychedelics prioritizing public benefit above profit.
Amy brings decades of pharmaceutical development and research experience in Phase 1 through Phase 3 Randomized Controlled Trials including supporting three successful regulatory approvals for new biologics. Her professional experience at Novartis, Chiron and other pharmaceutical companies (1993-2009) spans various fields including immunology, oncology and vaccines. Pursuing her love of science and nature cultivated while growing up in the woods of Alaska she earned her B.S. in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University in 1992 to prepare for a career in research. Amy is passionate about being a mother and the work of bringing the potential of psychedelics for healing further into the consciousness of the world, leaving a better world for the following generations. She has a lifelong love of travel, living abroad with her husband, exploring in nature and cooking with her family.
Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Deputy Director
Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., is a Deputy Director of the 501(c)(3) non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Dr. Yazar-Klosinski is responsible for development of strategic, catalytic, and capacity-building activities to facilitate research on the risk/benefit profile of psychedelics in compliance with the global regulatory landscape. She has been actively involved in the various stages of nonclinical and clinical development of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, LSD-assisted psychotherapy, cannabis, and ibogaine.
After gaining experience in clinical research laboratories with Geron Corporation and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Yazar-Klosinski joined MAPS in 2009 to work with an organization where profit wouldn't dictate the agenda of scientific research. Over the last 10 years, she has supported MAPS clinical research and regulatory affairs through all stages of growth. Dr. Yazar-Klosinski has developed a strong track record of success with FDA, state regulatory agencies and multiple regulatory agencies outside of the USA.
Dr. Yazar-Klosinski earned her B.S. in biology with a minor in drama from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in molecular, cell, and developmental biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010. She is a Turkish hunter-gatherer who is supporting the growth of her family and pets in harmony with the natural world as she works tirelessly to transform the future. Berra is a MAPS employee, seconded to MAPS PBC.
Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer (MAPS PBC)
Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation. She received her medical degree from Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and completed residency and fellowship training in pediatrics and pediatric nephrology. Her Ph.D. was focused on peritoneal dialysis in children, and she joined the academic staff at the Radboud University after completing her training.
Before moving to the United States in 2000, she worked as a Pediatrician in the largest inner-city hospital (OLVG) in Amsterdam where she was responsible for in- and outpatient care in a multi-racial patient group including sickle-cell disease, thalassemia, and AIDS.
For the last 20 years, she has contributed to the development of meningococcal and hepatitis vaccines during her tenure at GSK vaccines (formerly Novartis Vaccines and Chiron Corporation) and Dynavax prior to starting her own consulting company where she provides strategic advice and support for a variety of clients working on biologics, small molecule/polymer therapeutics and vaccines.
She feels very fortunate to formally join the MAPS team after assisting them previously in the development of the Pediatric Plans for MDMA. The opportunity that psychedelics provide in the treatment of PTSD and other indications is an exciting scientific field where she feels honored to play a small part in.
Corine resides in beautiful Port Townsend, WA, with her husband and her Jack Russell Terrier where she can be found roaming the beaches, making (wearable) recycled art, and messing around in rowing shells and other boats.
Ana LaDou, Chief Operating Officer (COO) (MAPS PBC)
Ana LaDou serves as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC). Ana is a dynamic leader and creative strategist who nurtures leaders, mobilizes teams, and develops strategic processes that result in stronger, scalable organizations. Ana specializes in leadership: providing it, supporting it, and developing it. She has worked on projects with local, national, and international reach where her ability to design straightforward strategies and gain consensus among the Board of Directors and outside stakeholders consistently results in innovative solutions and meaningful community impact. She graduated from Columbia University in New York, launched her career in marketing at Miramax Films, and maintains her ties to the industry. Her strengths in relationship building and collaborative leadership ensure ongoing support for the organization and meaningful change in their community. She is committed to her vipassana mindfulness and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) practices, and engaging Boards of Directors and executive leaders in deeper conversations and actions to address current cultural challenges.
Andrew "Mo" Septimus, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) (MAPS PBC)
Andrew "Mo" Septimus is an experienced entrepreneur with a track record of managing multimillion-dollar raises and budgets, complex projects, and teams. He has worked in private equity and acted as CFO in various industries. Mo brings a compassionate, outgoing, and resourceful leadership style, coupled with practical optimism and a sense of humor. He enjoys craft beverages, hockey, herring, kiddish club, and long walks on the beach. Mo is from Queens, New York, and lives with his family in Surfside, Florida.
Michael Mithoefer, M.D., Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision (MAPS PBC)
Michael Mithoefer, M.D., is a psychiatrist living in Asheville, NC, with a research office in Charleston, SC. In 2000, he began collaborating with MAPS on the first U.S. Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. He and his wife Annie have since conducted two of the six MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 clinical trials testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, as well a study providing MDMA-assisted sessions for therapists who have completed the MAPS-sponsored MDMA Therapy Training Program, and a pilot study treating couples with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy combined with Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy. He is now Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC). He is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator, is trained in EMDR and Internal Family Systems Therapy, and has nearly 30 years of experience treating trauma patients. Before going into psychiatry in 1991, he practiced emergency medicine for ten years, served as medical director of the Charleston County and Georgetown County Emergency Departments, and has held clinical faculty positions at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has been board-certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, and Internal Medicine.
Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P., Senior Director and Head of CMC (MAPS PBC)
Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P., comes to us with over 30 years of expertise in chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) executive management in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. Over his career, he has worked at companies such as Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), Baxter, Teva, and Cephalon. Since his position as Executive Director at BMS, he has been a management consultant in the areas of CMC, Regulatory and Project Management. He also consulted for private equity companies as a global due diligence expert, analyzing the FDA exposure and assessing the risk of target companies and their therapeutic assets. His clients included Pfizer, McKinsey & Co., Accenture, Capital Group of companies etc. Jay obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Analysis from Boston University. He is a graduate of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. Jay is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Jay spends his downtime enjoying public speaking, philosophy, nature travel, yoga, and meditation.
Rebecca A. Matthews, Chief Clinical Operations Officer (CCOO) (MAPS PBC)
Rebecca A, Matthews is the Chief Clinical Operations Officer (CCOO) at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Rebecca is leading the Clinical Operations teams in conducting clinical trials around the globe in all indications and clinical programs supported by MAPS PBC and MAPS.
Rebecca began consulting with MAPS in 2009 and joined MAPS PBC full-time in 2015. Prior to her work at MAPS and MAPS PBC she worked in clinical research and development at Chiron/Novartis starting in 2001 with a focus in the indications of sepsis and vaccines.
Rebecca is drawn to the field of research and drug development to support the advancement of healthcare and to provide novel and improved treatments for the benefit of humankind. She is deeply passionate about this amazing journey and honored to be on the forefront of psychedelic medicine research. Rebecca earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2000.
She resides in Northern California alongside her husband, two daughters and the family labradoodle and can be found starting impromptu dance parties, enjoying delicious tacos and playing in nature with family and friends.
Shannon C. Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T., Director and Head of Training and Supervision (MAPS PBC)
Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T., is the Director and Head of Training and Supervision at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. As the Director of Training and Supervision, Shannon oversees the development and implementation of the programs that provide training and supervision to prepare mental health and medical professionals to deliver MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in approved clinical settings. Shannon started working with MAPS in 2011 before joining MAPS PBC in 2016.
In her dedication to supporting people through growth and healing, Shannon has served as a co-therapist on MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 trials researching MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for severe PTSD. Shannon’s direct clinical work continues to inform the development and implementation of the training programs she oversees.
Shannon’s previous professional experience includes the development of community programs delivering resources, services, training, and support for healthy living, life skills, employment, and positive youth development. Her work has served adults with schizophrenia, bipolar, and substance use disorder, families and youth in a low-income residential setting, and high school students learning about moderation management of drug and alcohol use. In her lifelong commitment to address homelessness, Shannon volunteers with housing projects and shelters and completed a farm internship with the Homeless Garden Project.
Shannon received her master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. An adventurer at heart, Shannon can be found in nature, backpacking, running, and dancing. She celebrates and cultivates relationship and community and is passionate about life, love, and thriving.
Ritika Aggarwal, B.A., Executive Project Manager (MAPS PBC)
Ritika Aggarwal earned her B.A. in feminist studies and psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. While in Santa Cruz, she founded and co-directed the local chapter of NORML/Students for Sensible Drug Policy and worked with the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana. For the past ten years, she has been as a legal advocate for people incarcerated in California prisons, helping to secure the release of over 100 people with life sentences. She is currently the MAPS PBC Executive Project Manager.
Valerie Ahanonu, B.S., Clinical Program Operations Manager
Valerie Ahanonu is the Clinical Program Operations Manager at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), leading the Pilot, Investigator Initiated and Expanded Access trials Clinical Operations teams in the successful growth and execution of MAPS PBC non phase 3 clinical programs.
Prior to joining the MAPS PBC team, Valerie worked as a Sr. Clinical Trial Manager leading global oncology trials in multiple indications and phases (Solid Tumor – Phase I, II; Lymphoma – Phase II; Leukemia – Phase I, II, III, Extension/Compassionate Use, Phase I-II Investigator Sponsored Trials, Pharmacodynamic/ADME, Expanded Access). Throughout Valerie’s career she was able to participate in all aspects of the clinical trial process including global study submissions and global team management, FDA inspection and IND/NDA submissions, as well as operational process and team development.
Valerie received her B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Utah in 2009, where she discovered and explored the intricacies of the mind-body connection. Her love for helping people and discovering what makes them tick along with her interest in spiritual growth exploration bolster her passion for clinical research and exploring the soul changing power of psychedelic therapeutics. Valerie is excited to further the mission she shares with MAPS and continue moving the needle on more natural and effective mental health treatments that keep the whole person in mind leading to the positive rippling impact we all hope to see in this world!In her spare time, she enjoys karaoke, gallivanting about the globe with her husband, belly laughing with her family and friends, shaking it like a polaroid picture, gummy bears, skateboarding, French bulldogs and a good TV series with a glass of wine.
Jonathan Alinovi, Clinical Systems (MAPS PBC)
Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Hunter College in 2015. Before joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Jonathan worked in media production and web development, and recently joined us from a non-profit digital learning organization that supported school-age children in online math tutoring.
At MAPS PBC, Jonathan is currently serving as Clinical Systems. He is carrying forward a full archival project for all previous MDMA therapy studies and supporting the video team and our video vendors in designing future infrastructure for video recording storage that supports comprehensive and sustainable records, retention, and release procedures.
He is passionate about the intersection of computing and media and is thrilled to be a part of MAPS PBC. Jonathan hopes his work can help contribute to the healing of people who are otherwise unable to find relief from PTSD and other diagnoses.
Roman Alcocer, B.S., Quality Assurance Associate (MAPS PBC)
Roman earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics in 2017 from University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Roman worked as an admissions evaluator at UC Santa Cruz, as a naturalist in Point Reyes National Seashore, and as a customer success manager at ProductPlan, a product management software startup.
At MAPS PBC, Roman is currently serving as Quality Assurance Associate, supporting Clinical Systems with quality control of auditable document filing, data management, and documentation development. He is passionate about establishing a safe and legal framework for society to benefit from the skillful use of psychedelics. Roman loves being in nature with friends, searching for the perfect vegan burrito, and spending time with a good book.
Jamelia Avalos, Human Resources Manager
Jamelia Avalos joined the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) from the investment banking industry where she worked with Deutsche Bank Investment Banking Company, one of the world's leading financial service providers, for over 10 years. She brings over 14 years of experience in senior executive sales coordination, human resources, marketing and roadshow execution. Prior to MAPS PBC, she worked as a roadshow/marketing coordinator where she coordinated and executed U.S. Equity Non-Deal Roadshow for Deutsch Bank's entire West Coast region. Prior to that, Jamelia was the Senior Executive Sales Coordinator for major investment banking companies in San Francisco and New York.
At MAPS PBC, Jamelia is currently serving as the Human Resources Manager, reporting to the Director of People and Culture and will focusing on all things related to human resources.
Jamelia is thrilled to be doing meaningful work at MAPS PBC and is excited that there is a part for her to play in helping to advance the mission. Jamelia is originally from Connecticut and attended Long Island University, where she studied science. Jamelia currently lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter. In her free time, she enjoys going to the movies, planning parties, traveling with her husband, cooking, crafting, and playing soccer with her little girl.
George Barrera, Adherence and Supervision Coordinator (MAPS PBC)
George earned a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and an undergraduate certificate in family health in 2007 from Trident University, a master’s degree in human anatomy and physiology instruction in 2015 from New York Chiropractic College, and is currently working towards a master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Capella University. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), George worked in higher education, teaching human anatomy and physiology, and as a faculty member and program director in surgical technology.
At MAPS PBC, George is currently serving as Adherence and Supervision Coordinator, supporting adherence rating and supervision of MAPS-sponsored clinical trials through development and maintenance of data systems that monitor and coordinate adherence rating and supervision of therapist working in MAPS-sponsored clinical trials. He is passionate about helping others. For several years he worked in the surgical setting as a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA), specializing in pediatric and maxillofacial reconstructive surgery. More recently his educational pursuit has led him toward the field of marriage and family therapy, where he is hoping to continue helping others in an a different but just as impactful way.
George joined MAPS PBC in order to be part of a team whose interests lie in the betterment of mental health for others. He believes that there are potentially better mental health options, such as MDMA-assisted therapy, that could be available to those suffering from mental health issues, such as PTSD, and that MAPS PBC is doing important work to reopen those doors for the future.
In George’s free time, he enjoys reading, playing chess, and most of all cooking for his family.
Leah Bedrosian, Clinical Research Scientist (MAPS PBC)
Leah earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2015 from the University of Michigan and her MPH in occupational and environmental epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2018. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Leah worked as a research scientist at goop where she led the creation of goop PhD, a hub with evidence-based information on a variety of medical conditions to help advocate for women’s health. Leah’s research background focused on maternal and child exposure to environmental contaminants, specifically endocrine disruptors.
At MPBC, Leah is currently serving as a clinical research scientist, providing scientific input and medical writing throughout the clinical trial process. Leah is passionate about improving mental health and believes that psychedelics are a powerful tool that can be used to help the global community heal, recognizing our connectedness to each other and our planet. She joined MAPS in order to help work toward a brighter future.
Leah is also a certified yoga teacher and, in her free time, enjoys exploring national forests, brewing kombucha, and baking sourdough.
Akela Bellazetin, Safety Associate (MAPS PBC)
Akela earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2008 from the University of Utah. As an undergraduate, she was a research assistant on multiple studies focusing on aspects of psychology and ethnic studies. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Akela worked as a psychiatric technician. She witnessed firsthand the dire need for transformative therapy options. Her passion regarding her patient’s well-being fueled her desire to advocate for populations typically underserved by lawmakers. She also worked as a policy director for a non-profit coalition working to advance the status of women in Utah. In her position as policy director, Akela pursued legislation that would better the lives of Utah women and families.
At MPBC, Akela is currently serving as a Safety Associate focusing on ensuring that clinical trials are conducted in a timely manner and in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), the principles of ICH/Good Clinical Practice and all applicable regulations governing the conduct of clinical trials. She is thrilled to be joining MAPS PBC.
In Akela’s free time, she enjoys finding the best foodie spots with her husband and two young sons, being active, and working hard to raise socially just, good humans.
Julie Blaisdell, Regulatory Operations Specialist (MAPS PBC)
Julie Blaisdell joined MAPS PBC with nearly ten years of experience in academic clinical research. Most recently, as Research Operations Manager for Northwestern University's Department of Radiology, she oversaw a team of study coordinators and provided regulatory, logistical, data management, and statistical expertise to support over 100 active research protocols and 50 investigators. Prior to this, she served in research coordinator roles, managing drug and device trials and other biomedical studies for Northwestern’s cardiovascular imaging section and Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.
As an undergraduate, Julie worked as a research assistant with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Affective Neuroscience Laboratory where she contributed to EEG- and fMRI-based neuroimaging studies of acute stress disorder, PTSD, and depression. She earned a bachelor of arts in psychology and biology from UWM in 2012 and a master of science in epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2018.
Julie is enthusiastic about ethical and methodologically sound research and was drawn to MAPS PBC by these shared values. She resides in the Chicago area and can often be found spending quality time with her husband and pets, reading, sewing, enjoying loud music, or working on her very old house.
Maryann Böger, Manager, GxP Quality Systems (MAPS PBC)
Maryann brings 15 years of clinical research management experience in conducting international trials to MAPS PBC. She is skilled in strategy development and execution of U.S. and E.U.-regulated trials, both pre- and post-market. Maryann gained strong background in requirements for analyses and reporting of safety and compliance worldwide through her work at Stanford University Hospital, Guidant, and Abbott Labs. In her spare time, Maryann is an avid cyclist and foodie.
Atasha Bozorgzad, Administrative Assistant (MAPS PBC)
Atasha Bozorgzad earned her bachelor of science degree in health education in 2017 from San Francisco State University. Prior to joining the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and/or MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Atasha worked as a chiropractic assistant. Atasha also worked in Melbourne, Australia, as Central Appointments Officer for the Australian Defense Force. She was the first point of contact for Defense Force Members and managed their healthcare needs.
At MPBC, Atasha is currently serving as Administrative Assistant, providing support for the director and manager of the clinical operations team.
Atasha is passionate about alternative medicines that promote well-being and wholeness. She is thrilled to be a part of the work that MPBC is doing.
Atasha believes that we all have an internal force that stems from love and can heal humanity as a collective. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, reading, writing, running, traveling, teaching and practicing yoga.
Kelsea Brown, Clinical Study Assistant (MAPS PBC)
Kelsea earned her B.S. in neuroscience and behavior in 2015 from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently a graduate student at Capella University, pursuing her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. Kelsea first became involved with MAPS as a night attendant, providing care for participants in MDMA-Assisted psychotherapy studies, and later became a study coordinator for the U.S. Therapist Training study. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), she was an operations coordinator for a CSA organization, working to promote food equity and accessibility in the Charleston area by bridging the gap between local farmers and communities with limited access to affordable, nutritious food. She also spent six months earning her permaculture design certification through Ecoversity of Costa Rica.
At MAPS PBC, Kelsea is currently serving as a clinical study assistant, supporting the IDEA team with clinical operations of MDMA studies. She is committed to making psychedelic medicines accessible and is specifically passionate about exploring MDMA’s capacity for facilitating personal growth, meaningful connections, and transformation. Kelsea is filled with gratitude to be involved in the healing work that MAPS/MAPS PBC is carrying out. In her free time, she can be found dancing, painting, gardening, and working on her converted bus/camper.
Meghan Brown, B.A., Clinical Trial Leader (CTL) (MAPS PBC)
Meghan became a registered nurse in 2004 and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2010. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), she worked as Clinical Research Associate/Monitor for a CRO (contract research organization) on multiple studies with different indications ranging from oncology to pain. Meghan also worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on pediatric oncology studies performing the role of a study coordinator, clinical research nurse and clinical research associate. At MAPS PBC, Meghan is currently serving as Clinical Trial Leader (CTL), working on Phase 3 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) studies. It is Meghan’s hope that her contributions to the MAPS PBC team will help facilitate the research and subsequent FDA approval of psychedelics for patients who can truly benefit from them.
Judy Calkins, Financial Controller (MAPS PBC)
Judy brings with her years of experience in numerous finance, leadership, IT, and acquisition/transition teams. She has worked in the non-profit, for-profit, and benefit corporation sectors. She enjoys the "puzzle" of accounting and finance and balances it with a style of being pragmatic, flexible, and fun. She is a native Californian and currently lives in San Diego with her family. She enjoys going to Mammoth Mountain as often as she can for skiing, hiking, golfing, and the great outdoors.
Krystel Cohn, Clinical Program Manager (MAPS PBC)
Krystel is a clinical research professional with a background in academic and pharmaceutical studies. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Krystel was a clinical project manager at Harvard Clinical Research Institute where she managed multiple investigator-initiated, cardiology studies. As a project manager at Clinical Assistance Programs, she led industry-sponsored oncology supportive care studies in head and neck cancer. Krystel also supported several IBD trials as a clinical research coordinator in the gastroenterology department at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center.
Krystel joined MAPS PBC in June 2019 as IMP supply manager, supporting the forecasting, manufacturing, and shipping of clinical drug supplies. In May 2021, she joined the clinical operations department as a clinical program manager supporting the management of multiple MDMA studies.
Krystel is thrilled to be contributing to the community outreach and clinical research lead by MAPS and MAPS PBC. Krystel joined MAPS PBC because she saw a critical need for increased recognition and compassionate understanding of mental health disorders and significant expansion of the currently limited treatment options. She is committed to creating space for open dialogue and supporting innovative and ethical research into previously unexplored paths of treatment. She loves that her work at MAPS PBC, whose mission of exploring the use of psychedelics as healing, transformative, and legally accessible treatments, aligns with her own perspective and goals.
In her free time, Krystel enjoys hiking, baking, reading, and live music.
Allison Coker, Ph.D., Regulatory Affairs Manager (MAPS PBC)
Allison Coker, Ph.D. was trained as neuroscientist with a multidisciplinary background in behavioral pharmacology studying motivation, addiction, and stress across diverse research methodologies in both preclinical and clinical research settings. She earned her bachelor's degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University and a doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Dr. Coker worked as a Program Manager for the Institute for Translational Neuroscience, a research consortium at UCSF focused on conducting translational and clinical research to develop novel treatment strategies for PTSD and alcohol and substance use disorders. In this role, she developed a broad skillset in clinical research management, regulatory compliance, and program administration.
At MAPS PBC, Dr. Coker serves as the Regulatory Affairs Manager where she works with executive leadership and senior consultants on the development and optimization of regulatory strategy across MAPS clinical development programs. Dr. Coker serves as Regulatory Lead on cross-functional teams to communicate regulatory requirements, ensure optimal execution of regulatory strategy, and lead the planning and preparation of regulatory commitments for development of marketing authorization applications to regulatory agencies.
Dr. Coker is excited by both the therapeutic potential and regulatory challenges of making MDMA a medicine and is eager to utilize her experience to support data-driven advancement of MAPS clinical development program.
Ben Crowell, Training Coordinator (MAPS PBC)
Ben Crowell earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2004 from Stanford University and is currently working towards a master’s in East-West psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Ben worked at Google in a variety of product and marketing roles, including running a global marketing team at Waze and contributing to early commercialization strategy at YouTube.
At MAPS PBC, Ben is currently serving as a training coordinator, providing support for participants in the MDMA Therapy Training Program and contributing to the development and maintenance of training, planning, and communication materials.
Ben believes very deeply in the potential of psychedelics to be a catalyst for both individual and collective healing as well as the evolution of human consciousness. He is thrilled to be in a position to personally contribute to the MAPS PBC mission.
Ben is passionate about teaching, learning, and exploring. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, golfing, playing tennis, cooking, gardening, stargazing, and watching and following most sports.
Joy Sun Cooper, Head of Commercialization and Patient Access (MAPS PBC)
Joy co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer of Groups, a venture-backed healthcare services company that is tackling the opioid epidemic in rural America. Groups operates more than 50 outpatient clinics in six states that is pioneering a value-based model for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
Prior to starting Groups, she helped launch GiveDirectly, a global nonprofit that gives cash to the ultra-poor with no strings attached using mobile payments technology and conducts rigorous, experimental evaluation to measure impact. She previously was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company in the healthcare and agriculture practices and Director of Operations at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), where she designed and implemented large-scale HIV treatment programs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Joy holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a B.S.in international affairs from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
Desra Diehl, Staff Accountant
Desra earned a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration in 2016 from Kent State University. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), she worked with one of Ohio's leading nonprofit community behavioral health agencies. She began her career in low level clerk accounting and over the course of four years earned two promotions. She had the opportunity to create her final position as the Treasury Management and Accounting Coordinator with her prior company. She has broad experience in many different functions of finance including treasury, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and grant administration. Desra is also a certified lean six sigma green belt and hopes to soon become a black belt.
At MPBC, Desra is currently serving as a staff accountant, where she will work closely with the Controller, CFO and other Finance Staff to develop and tone processes and participate in monthly financial processes. Desra was involved in Kent State University’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter in leadership roles including President and Treasurer. She joined MPBC in order to be a part of an organization that will shift the trajectory for mental health treatment in the future.
In Desra’s free time, she enjoys traveling, painting, and hanging out with her dog.
Gina DiJohnson, CMC Specialist (MAPS PBC)
Gina DiJohnson earned a bachelor’s degree in science in 2012 from the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Gina worked as a sensory scientist where she supported R&D and innovation launching new products, quality control, and continuous improvement.
At MAPS PBC, Gina is currently serving as CMC Specialist, focusing on IMP supplies, logistics, document management, clinical supplies planning, and supporting the CMC department.
Gina is thrilled to be working on a team that values open science and transparency. Gina joined MAPS PBC in order to honor her brother’s legacy, a casualty of the War on Drugs, who believed in alternative healing treatments that are desperately lacking in society. She dreams of a world where mental health is not stigmatized and is accessible to all who need it and believes in the freedom to explore our consciousness with laws informed by science. In Gina’s free time, she loves spending time at the beach with her family.
Bri Deyo, Clinical Data Manager (MAPS PBC)
Bri comes to MAPS PBC from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where they spent 10 years in the School of Medicine and Public Health on various kinds of clinical trials and public health research. For the last 6 years, they coordinated and then managed the research team in the Program for Research, Outreach, Education, and Therapeutics in the Addictions (PROTEA). During their time at UW, they had the opportunity to contribute to all stages of research, from beginning to end, from grant application and protocol development to study conduct, data analysis, and publication. They love the creative process of turning ideas into testable hypotheses, and then putting protocols into action. They are looking forward to using their protocol development and clinical experience to guide their engagement with data collection, management, and reporting processes.
At MAPS PBC Bri is a clinical data manager, working in the Data Management and Systems Team. Bri’s last name rhymes with “Leo,” even though Harry Belafonte’s “Day-o” pronunciation is way more fun. They prefer gender neutral pronouns, but gendered ones work, too.
In their free time, Bri enjoys working on projects around the house and yard, gatherings with friends and family, building things, and exploring.
Naveed Emadi, Clinical Study Assistant (CSA) (MAPS PBC)
Naveed Emadi earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2017 from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Prior to joining the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and/or MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Naveed worked as a quality assurance specialist, where he helped a cannabis testing laboratory create and implement SOPs, finalize method validations, and comply with BCC (Bureau of Cannabis Control) and ISO 17025 Standards/Regulations, in the state of California. He has also worked for a biotech company in which he ran analytical assays to determine the drugs stability, during the process development stage.
At MAPS PBC, Naveed is currently serving as a clinical study assistant (CSA), supporting and aiding the clinical operations team.
He is excited to join the Clinical Operations team and be able to learn from all the talented people in this organization. He is passionate about growing and learning with likeminded individuals.
Naveed joined MAPS/MAPS PBC to help make a difference in the world for individuals who are suffering, and to provide alternative and educational insight on psychedelic psychotherapy.
He hopes to help improve the alternative options for treating mental illnesses and stigma around psychedelic usage.
In Naveed’s free time, he enjoys to go hiking in nature, meditating, producing music, traveling the world, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Maghen Farris, Clinical Systems Manager (MAPS PBC)
Maghen earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2012 from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and a master’s degree in health informatics and analytics in 2020 from the University of South Florida Morsani School of Medicine. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Maghen worked as Clinical Systems Program Manager at an NCI-designated Cancer Center where she managed the clinical systems team, provided oversight of the Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS) and data transparency reporting programs, and supported the Cancer Centers’ business needs by preparing analytics for internal and external reporting. Recently, Maghen worked as a Clinical Data Scientist at a large Clinical Research Organization, where she performed centralized analytical monitoring of subject safety, data integrity, and data completeness by identifying risks and performing trend analysis to support collection of critical data.
At MPBC, Maghen is currently serving as Clinical Systems Manager, focusing on leading the Clinical Systems Team in the evaluation, selection, and implementation of clinical systems to support the administration of clinical trials by Clinical Operations.
Maghen has experience designing and executing a comprehensive training program for CTMS end users, centering on instructor-led training and detailed resources. She organized and lead the development of a quality-by-design electronic Case Report Form (eCRF) initiative which improved and streamlined collection of critical data for the organization’s Investigator Initiated Trials program. Maghen has two published papers from her time working in a behavioral psychology research lab, each focused-on smoking cessation best practices, and several poster presentations focused on topics such as informatics and technical training.
Maghen is committed to contributing to evidence-based research for treatment of mental health disorders. She has long been fascinated with the potential of psychedelics as treatment for certain indications and is encouraged by the recent decisions by FDA to support MAPS’ mission, feeling hopeful that long-standing political and cultural misunderstandings can soon be resolved.
In Maghen’s free time, she enjoys jogging, meditating, walking her dog, and spending time with her family in Kansas City, where she lives.
Gretchen Friedberger, Senior Clinical Data Manager (MAPS PBC)
Gretchen joins the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) as the Senior Clinical Data Manager in the Data Management and Services team.
Gretchen graduated from Temple University with a B.A in psychology. She also holds an associate of applied science degree in nursing and is a registered nurse in Pennsylvania.
Gretchen began her career in healthcare working with the Geriatric and Adult Psychiatric inpatient population within the Thomas Jefferson University Health System in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Always interested in clinical research, she transitioned to research nursing with positions in both the academic and hospital-based settings. Gretchen has also worked in the pharmaceutical industry in Clinical Operations, as well as Clinical Product Management with a focus on CNS and behavioral health. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Gretchen was Associate Director of Data Management for Signant Health where she oversaw data management activities for teams based in the U.S. and Romania.
Gretchen brings to MAPS PBC an extensive background and experience in the eCOA/ePRO space, with a focus on the development and implementation of CNS/psychiatric measures in electronic data capture systems.
In her free time, Gretchen is a free-lance exercise rider in the Chester County, PA area. She also enjoys spending time on her farm with her own horses, dogs, cats, and chickens. Gretchen believes strongly in the MAPS mission, and is honored to be part of the visionary and healing work that MAPS/MAPS PBC has created through psychedelic medicine research.
Amanda Fyles, CMC Compliance and Logistics Manager (MAPS PBC)
Amanda earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2015 from The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Amanda spent years working as a pharmaceutical chemist and investigative analyst at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA).
As part of the FDA, Amanda performed post-approval pharmaceutical analyses and conducted domestic and international site inspections of various pharmaceutical companies. Her laboratory work encompassed active pharmaceutical ingredient identity, potency, content uniformity, impurity, dissolution, and water-content testing across a variety of FDA-regulated pharmaceutical dosage forms. Her inspectional work focused on evaluating manufacturing and chemistry Quality Control laboratories in Pre-Approval, “For-Cause”, and Compliance follow-up inspections. She specialized in assessing data integrity and performing audit trail reviews.
At MAPS PBC, Amanda is currently serving as CMC Compliance and Logistics Manager, ensuring that clinical and commercial drug supplies are forecasted, manufactured, and managed in accordance with program-wide timelines. She is additionally supporting CMC strategy initiatives by creating and maintaining relevant Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and supporting general cGMP compliance.
Amanda is interested in the ways in which the natural world provides us with opportunities to explore our singular and collective consciousness. She is dedicated to supporting means of self-reflection and hopes that her work with MPBC will further its goals in offering psychedelic modalities to promote guided healing. In her free time, Amanda enjoys rock climbing, cooking vegetarian meals, reading, playing and watching soccer, and spending time in her home state of Vermont.
Angelica Garcia, B.S., Training Coordinator
Angelica earned a B.S. in molecular environmental biology and a B.A. in anthropology in 2013 from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Angelica worked as a research associate at a clinical biotech company where she assisted in research on gene/protein therapies and provided support to the pharmacology group. She also worked in a CLIA/CAP laboratory at a cancer diagnostics company isolating tumor cells containing specific biomarkers. While living at the Berkeley Student Cooperative, Angelica was the elected health worker for her 60-person co-op where she spoke to students about mental health resources, hosted consent and harm reduction workshops, and organized talks on alternative medicines.
At MAPS PBC, Angelica is currently serving as a Training Coordinator for the MDMA Therapy Training Program, focusing on supporting trainees in their progress through the program. Angelica is interested in the potential benefits of expanded states of consciousness and how transformative experiences can be utilized for therapeutic purposes. She is passionate about making psychedelic medicine inclusive and accessible to all, especially people of color and those who have been historically underrepresented in clinical research. In her free time, Angelica loves dancing, drinking tea, going to the beach, and playing deck-building card games.
Hailey Gilmore, Clinical Research Associate (MAPS PBC)
Hailey is a graduate of UC Berkeley (Double Bear - B.A. Development Studies, M.P.H. Epidemiology & Biostatistics) and Bay Area expat currently residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prior to joining MPBC, Hailey coordinated HIV prevention and treatment clinical trials for the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the University of California San Francisco in the U.S., South Africa, Brazil, and Malawi, for over a decade.
At MPBC, Hailey is currently serving as a Clinical Research Associate for Investigator Initiated Trials. After contributing to work on groundbreaking technologies such as HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV Self-Testing (HIVST), Hailey is thrilled to once again be working on paradigm-shifting science at MAPS/MPBC. In her free time, she can be found hiking/kayaking/climbing the Northern NM wilderness with her pup, Shantaram, reading a book while sipping a good pinot, seeing live music, or converting friends to vegetarianism with a delicious creation.
Zac Goldberg, B.S., Clinical Systems Specialist (MAPS PBC)
Zac earned a bachelor’s degree in cognitive science with a specialization in neuroscience in 2017 from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Zac worked as a research assistant at the Perception and Cognition Lab where he recruited participants for visual and auditory perception and memory experiments, in addition to cleaning and analyzing data from the studies..
At MAPS PBC, Zac is currently serving as a Clinical Systems Specialist, focusing on file management, system administration, regulatory document creation, and general organizational work. Zac oversees the electronic trial master file system and assists the Clinical Research Associates with their work. He is passionate about helping make MDMA and other psychedelics a viable option to treat mental illness. In Zac’s free time, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and playing ultimate frisbee and disc golf.
Kelly Green, B.S., Clinical Systems Specialist (MAPS PBC)
Kelly Green is a certified physician assistant. She earned her B.S. in biology in 1999 from the University of North Carolina. After graduation, Kelly worked as an EMT and medical assistant before attending graduate school at New York University where she earned a master of public health in 2004 and a master’s degree in psychological testing and measurement in 2005. Kelly began her research career at NYU as a research coordinator and then project manager for numerous studies focused on HIV, mental health, and substance abuse. Her HIV and mental health related research career continued at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for the next several years until she decided to pursue her training to become a PA. In 2014, she received her master’s in physician assistant studies from Stony Brook University. Upon graduating, Kelly worked as a PA for a regional community mental health provider where she saw her patients struggle to overcome the impacts of PTSD and treatment resistant depression.
Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) Kelly worked as a research physician assistant at the University of Washington’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, which allowed her to couple her passion for research with her love of medicine. Kelly is passionate about contributing to work that will have a positive impact on a person’s quality of life.
She joined MAPS PBC in order to be a part of a team committed to improving mental health care and dreams of a world in which the crippling effects of PTSD, treatment resistant depression, and social anxiety will be ameliorated by accessible, efficacious treatment for all. Kelly resides in Seattle, WA, and enjoys sailing with her teenage son. She is also currently restoring a 1974 sailboat…an endless but fulfilling project!
Alexa Julianne Gorwin, Clinical Systems Specialist (MAPS PBC)
Alexa Julianne Gorwin earned a bachelor’s degree in molecular, cell, and developmental biology in 2009 from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to her career in clinical research, she worked as a clinical laboratory scientist in oncology for eight years where performed diagnostic testing and analysis and built a solid understanding of clinical laboratory operations. Wanting to further develop her clinical knowledge, she switched careers and worked for an innovative startup as a clinical research coordinator and administrator before deciding to focus on psychedelic clinical research.
Now, at MAPS PBC, Alexa is bringing her professional experience to the role of clinical systems specialist, where she will assist with system administration of several of the GxP-regulated systems in the clinical systems group. She is dedicated to applying her scientific and data-driven background to the role as she assists clinical operations and the clinical teams. She is excited to contribute to the groundbreaking work being done at MAPS and to support the advancement of psychedelic research.
In her free time, Alexa volunteers as a psychedelic writer, providing research-based educational articles about psychedelics and their therapeutic potential in the fields of mental health and wellness.
Emily Gworek, Clinical Study Assistant (CSA) (MAPS PBC)
Emily earned her B.S. in biopsychology in 2020 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Emily was involved with UCSB’s chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, participated in the SSDP Psychedelic Pipeline program, and founded a chapter of Psychedelic Club on campus. Emily also spent time working as an intern at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Center for Addiction Medicine, where she helped with a study investigating the effects of medical marijuana on neurocognition.
At MPBC, Emily is currently serving as a Clinical Study Assistant working on Phase 3 MDMA-Assisted psychotherapy studies for patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Emily is passionate about drug policy reform and harm reduction strategies. She is excited to support the Clinical Operations team and believes psychedelic medicine plays an important role in developing a more holistic model of mental healthcare. In her free time, Emily enjoys skiing, cooking, and camping.
Wesley Hale, M.S., Training Program Manager (MAPS PBC)
In 2017, Wesley Hale moved to San Francisco to pursue his master’s degree in organizational psychology at San Francisco State University. Wesley has been a graduate research assistant in the Health and Organizational Psychology Lab, Workforce Technology Research Lab, and Employee Selection and Retention Lab. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Wesley was an assistant business psychologist at a game-based assessment company and has gained experience working in the education field. He taught children with autism spectrum disorders and went on to teach a variety of subjects in the Orange County Public School District. Before moving to San Francisco, he spent two summers in China as a guest lecturer at Xi’an Jiaotong University.
Wesley is deeply passionate about the potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness for healing and growth and the importance of education and training for helping individuals effectively utilize these states. Wesley has served as a volunteer at the MAPS office, fundraising dinners, and tabling events. He has also been a volunteer for the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at CIIS. Wesley enjoys tea, meditation, and music from around the world.
Scott Hamilton, Interim Director of Biostatistics (MAPS PBC)
Dr. Hamilton joined MAPS in 2015 as a statistical consultant. He has been deeply involved in the analysis of the Phase 2 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. He designed the statistical aspects of the current pivotal studies. He was formerly President and Founder of DynaRand, LLC, a software company that pioneered the development of IVRS and IWRS solutions for clinical trials management. DynaRand was acquired by United BioSource Corporation in 2005. Since the inception of DynaRand in 1998, he has pioneered the use of IXRS for automated adaptive studies, especially in the area of dynamic randomization. Dr. Hamilton has an Adjunct Professor appointment at Stanford University's School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, where he has been the primary statistician on multiple acute stroke studies. Dr. Hamilton sits on several data safety monitoring committees and works closely with pharmaceutical companies regarding the statistical aspects of adaptive trials and randomization algorithms. Previously, Dr. Hamilton was a statistical reviewer for the NI-NINDS Grant Review Committee. Widely published, he holds memberships in the American Statistical Association and the American Stroke Association. Dr. Hamilton received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Davis, his Master of Science from the University of California at Los Angeles in Biostatistics, and his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina. He is passionate about his family, and enjoys biking, camping, and singing.
Charlotte Harrison, B.S., Clinical Program Manager (MAPS PBC)
Charlotte Harrison is an experienced clinical research professional who is thrilled to be contributing to psychedelic research at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Greek and Latin in 2012 from Tufts University while pursuing pre-medical studies. After an exciting internship working on oncology trials at Clinical Assistance Programs (CAP), she decided her skills were better suited to clinical research. She monitored and managed clinical trials in supportive cancer care, nephrology, dermatology, and cardiology at CAP, MedTrials, and Harvard Clinical Research Institute.
At MAPS PBC, Charlotte is currently serving as a Clinical Program Manager, supporting the management of MDMA and marijuana studies. She supports, trains, and monitors multiple sites, ensuring quality research and compliance. She is hopeful that her passion for improving the quality of life for those suffering with mental illness and determination to make scientific research more efficient will be beneficial to MAPS’ important and necessary work. In her free time, Charlotte can be found doing yoga, snuggling her cats, or playing board games late into the night.
Libby Heimler, Independent Rater Program Leader (MAPS PBC)
Libby is a committed research professional with a background in adult and pediatric oncology. Prior to beginning her career, she studied psychological science and religious studies at Albion College, where she received a rich and rigorous education in research design and ancient Jewish scripture. Prior positions included work on studies at Karmanos Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital Oakland, and Genentech. After working as the Study Coordinator for a MAPS study, she joined the MAPS staff as a Clinical Research Associate. Libby is passionate about research ethics and innovations in mental health treatment, and is delighted to be a part of this dynamic team working to improve both of those things. In her free time, she can be found sewing her own clothes and quilts, knitting more hats than anyone needs, cooking, hiking, and traveling.
Ryan Hudgins, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis (MAPS PBC)
Ryan Hudgins earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and entrepreneurial management from the University of Iowa in 2009. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Ryan held a variety of corporate strategy roles in the financial services industry where he developed a knack for executing process improvement initiatives and creative reporting optimization.
At MAPS PBC, Ryan is currently serving as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, focusing on leading budgeting and forecasting cycles, modeling financial and operational analytics, and developing metrics to evaluate and direct business performance. Ryan is committed to exploring the significant role psychedelic drug development will play in addressing mental health issues around the world. Ryan joined MAPS PBC in order to enhance business intelligence tools to support strategic imperatives for the organization.
L. (Ilsa) Jerome, Ph.D., Medical Coder (MAPS PBC)
L. (Ilsa) Jerome earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Maryland in 1999, with an interest in social cognition. Inside and beyond formal education, Jerome immersed herself in literature on psychopharmacology and what would soon become affective and social neuroscience. Ilsa was a member of the team that developed the initial 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) Investigator’s Brochure. Jerome was the Clinical Research and Information Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). At MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Jerome has retained the title, focusing on archiving, communicating and sharing information about studies into the effects, risks and benefits of MAPS’ primary study drugs, particularly MDMA and classic psychedelics. Seeking, understanding and communicating scientific information has been at the core of this role, while the details have changed. As clinical research and information specialist, Jerome has collected and summarized research as part of designing and developing the Investigator’s Brochure and Phase 2 studies. She has assisted in the revision and management of Psychedelic Bibliography scope and content, supported and communicated with medical monitors, and communicated with researchers within and outside of MAPS and sending findings into the world as published reports. She believes in the necessity of interpreting and sharing research knowledge that will best help MAPS PBC produce transparent, thorough and honest documents and reports, and that spotting good questions is as important as knowing good answers. Ilsa is fascinated by sound and music, and fragrance and olfaction. She spent a couple of years as a DJ at a university radio station, but remains emphatically unhip.
Morgan Kelly, Clinical Study Assistant (MAPS PBC)
Morgan earned a B.A. in psychology in 2012 from the St. Edward’s University and a M.A. in psychological research in 2016 from the Texas State University. Her research mainly focused on substance use issues. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Morgan worked in academic research for over four years, most recently as a scientific assistant on a clinical trial examining the efficacy of contingency management to treat alcohol use disorder (AUD) in individuals with co-occurring AUD and serious mental illness in a community mental health setting.
At MAPS PBC, Morgan is currently serving as a clinical study assistant with the IDEA team and will be mainly working on Expanded Access programs and Investigator Initiated Trials. Morgan is passionate about reducing health disparities and increasing accessibility to holistic treatment approaches for substance use dependence and PTSD, including MDMA-assisted therapy! She is committed to expanding the scope of psychedelic medical research to help make this treatment option available to all those individuals who would benefit from it.
In Morgan’s free time, she enjoys cooking and baking, strength training, yoga, and hiking in the PNW, listening to podcasts, and spending quality time snuggling up with her partner, Luke, and her cat-dog-pig, Wuzi (a shih tzu mix). When it’s safe, she’ll get back to traveling as much as possible and indoor rock climbing too!
Anya Kramer, Operations and Communications Project Manager (MAPS PBC)
Anya Kramer is currently serving as Operations and Communications Project Manager. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Anya worked as a project manager, marketing strategist, research assistant, and ‘chief of staff.’ Some notable projects include: research for a pre-production documentary on Timothy Leary and a film on Miles Davis, strategic planning and pipeline support for a career coaching/consulting company, expanding community programs and providing operational support for a wellness-based consulting company, and overseeing communications and development of websites and other marketing assets for several companies. Anya earned a bachelor’s degree in Religion/Philosophy in 2012 from Smith College. Anya is committed to furthering psychedelic research and redefining models of health and healing. She is thrilled to join the MAPS PBC team. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, playing drums, and hiking.
Michelle Lacy , SR. Human Resources Manager (MAPS PBC)
Michelle Lacy earned a bachelor’s degree in management and human resources in 2008 from Utah State University. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Michelle oversaw the HR function within California for an artisanal ice cream company, Salt & Straw. She has over 10 years of experience in the field and two professional HR certifications, PHR and SHRM-CP.
At MPBC, Michelle focuses on all things related to people and culture while streamlining and standardizing the HR infrastructure. Michelle joined MPBC because she was really drawn to the mission and the meaningful work and research that is being done here.
In her free time, Michelle can be found walking/playing with her dog. She also enjoys working out, traveling, and lounging at the beach with a cold beer.
McKenna Leighton, Clinical Research Associate (MAPS PBC)
McKenna earned her B.S. in molecular biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 2019. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, McKenna worked with the Genomics Institute in UX design & communications, genomic ecology, and biotechnology. When McKenna wasn’t working in genomics, she designed and taught undergraduate courses with the Brain, Mind, Consciousness Society at UC Santa Cruz, and she studied political philosophy in UCSC’s History of Consciousness program.
At MAPS PBC, McKenna is currently serving as a clinical research associate, working on Phase 3 MDMA-assisted therapy studies. She also contributes to efforts ensuring that MAPS PBC studies are inclusive, safe, and equitable for marginalized populations. McKenna’s passion is to understand and to interfere with the psychological and physiological mechanisms by which socio-political power structures are reproduced in and through bodies. She is additionally passionate about ending the war on drugs, improving reciprocity in her relations with people, plants, and animals, and supporting political efforts to redistribute the wealth and the land. She loves queerness, sxsterhood, somatic experiencing, redwoods, exploring movement and breath, and studying radical philosophy.
Alia Lilienstein, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Director
Alia is a board-certified family medicine physician. She earned her B.A. in American studies from Georgetown University in 2002, where she studied social and cultural influences on health care. Prior to medical school, she earned her Master of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics in 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked in clinical research and development at Chiron (later Novartis). She received her M.D. in 2011 from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and completed residency training in family medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Tufts- and Harvard-affiliated Accountable Care Organization. Before joining MAPS, Alia worked as a primary care doctor in Berkeley. Alia holds a certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research from CIIS in San Francisco. As a family physician, Alia has borne witness to her patients’ struggles with the human condition and the effects these struggles have on their loved ones. She is passionate about helping develop better tools for psychological healing so that everyone may have the opportunity to approach themselves and others with empathy and love. Alia is a MAPS employee, seconded to MAPS PBC.
Jess Lin, M.P.H., Adherence and Supervision Program Manager (MAPS PBC)
Jess Lin, M.P.H., is the Adherence and Supervision Program Manager at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), where she works to support development of systems and infrastructure for the oversight of therapists in the delivery of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in MAPS protocols.
Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Jess led public health research and intervention programs in public, academic, and not-for-profit settings, including at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Her work has included projects to identify health needs and protective factors amongst an international cohort of trans women, conduct advocacy and policy work with youth experiencing homelessness, and support harm reduction services for people who inject drugs. Jess received a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Comparative Literature from Brown University in 2005 and a master’s in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2010.
Jess is deeply committed to strengthening the ties between science and love. She is honored to be working with the MAPS PBC team in service of individual and collective wellness and liberation. She is a steadfast friend, avid reader, ecstatic dancer, and cat whisperer.
Joselyn Lindgren, M.S., Clinical Research Associate (MAPS PBC)
Joselyn earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1990 from the University of California Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science in 1997 from San Jose State University. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Joselyn worked as a staff research associate in a neuroimaging lab at San Francisco Veterans Affairs. Here she supported large observational studies on Gulf War Illness, HIV, Alcohol, PTSD and Alzheimer’s. Next Joselyn worked at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institution where she managed all clinical related activities for several Phase II oncology trials. Joselyn most recently worked at Kaiser Permanente, supporting Phase 2-3 trials with expertise in regulatory documents. At MAPS PBC, Joselyn is currently serving as a Clinic Research Associate supporting ongoing clinical trials using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD.
Joselyn is committed to helping to find long-term permanent solutions for debilitating mental health disorders and is excited to be a part of this transformative movement that MAPS/MAPS PBC has created with psychedelic research.
In Joselyn’s free time, she enjoys cooking, dancing, reading, and power walks.
Ashley Long, Trial Master File Associate (MAPS PBC)
Ashley Long earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2020 from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Prior to joining the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Ashley worked in a variety of occupations. Most recently she has been immersed in the field of sustainable agriculture which has inspired her desire to seek and devise affordable, sustainable and innovative approaches to mental health and wellness.
At MAPS PBC, Ashley is currently serving as Trial Master File Associate focusing on the implementation of an archival system for past studies and the filing and management of current studies.
Ashley has spent the last year archiving various legacy studies as well as contributing to the migration of documents for several different studies.
She is thrilled to be a part of a team exploring groundbreaking treatment methods for a variety of the problems society currently faces - in particular, the treatment of substance use disorders and PTSD.
Ashley joined MAPS/MAPS PBC in order to learn more about clinical systems and become more involved in creating what she sees as methodologies which will be invaluable to future treatment protocols.
Ashley believes that the work being done at MAPS is going to afford access to mental health care to a greater number of at-risk individuals in a rapid and financially sound manner that is not currently available.
Ashley currently divides her time between her involvement at MAPS, the Campbell Farmer’s Market which she manages every Sunday, and her other job as florist.
In Ashley’s free time she loves organic gardening, traveling, surfing, homesteading, biking, and running trails with her two dogs.
Andrew Marty, Information Technology Support Technician (MAPS PBC)
Andrew Marty earned a bachelor’s degree in Network Communications and Management in 2016 from the DeVry University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Information Technology Management with a focus on Information Security in 2020 from the Keller Graduate School of Management. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Andrew worked as a Technology Associate at Capsule in New York City where he brought 10 years of IT experience with him. He implemented numerous projects such as mobile device management, standards and policies on hardware/software across the company, and helped Capsule expand into numerous markets. At MAPS PBC, Andrew is currently serving as an Information Technology Support Technician, working on Office 365/Azure projects, implementing our mobile device management system and making sure every employee at MAPS PBC is looked after. Andrew has helped IT infrastructure flourish from small to large businesses. He’s overseen many projects that have made the companies he’s worked for grow stronger and smarter in order to help those companies fulfill their visions. Andrew is passionate about the MAPS PBC mission and in his spare time Andrew loves going to wineries with his wife, computer gaming, long walks, eating all kinds of food and always learning about the IT field.
Alyssa McNamara, Clinical Research Associate (MAPS PBC)
Alyssa McNamara earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a minor in bioinformatics in 2017 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Alyssa worked as a research associate in the field of immuno-oncology, where she helped to research and develop therapeutics to treat ovarian cancer. Alyssa also worked in the field of neurodevelopment, where she studied transcription factors and mechanisms of action implicated in autism spectrum disorders. At MAPS PBC, Alyssa is currently serving as a Clinical Research Associate, supporting the Clinical Operations team. She is excited to join the dedicated and enthusiastic team at MAPS PBC. Alyssa joined MAPS PBC to help make an impact in the lives of people suffering around the world. She strives to help improve the standard of care for mental illness and neurological disorders. In Alyssa’s free time, she enjoys running and geocaching with her family.
Bridget Melton, Pharm.D., Manager, Clinical Supply Chain (MAPS PBC)
Bridget Melton, Pharm.D., earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2004 from Georgia State University and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2011 from Mercer University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, both in Atlanta, Georgia.
Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Bridget worked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for over 17 years, most recently serving as Investigational Drug Service Pharmacist, where she helped to manage investigational medications for a wide variety of clinical trials, from small investigator-initiated trials (IITs) to large Phase 3 industry-sponsored trials, Expanded Access protocols and Compassionate Use trials. She also served on the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and Developmental Therapeutics Committee in this role.
Bridget completed a variety of clinical rotations, including time at the Indian Health Service in Gallup, New Mexico and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, she has volunteer experience with the Atlanta Harm Reduction Center and the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State University.
At MAPS PBC, Bridget is currently serving as Manager, Clinical Supply Chain, supporting the forecasting, manufacturing, and shipping of clinical drug supplies, both domestically and internationally, for all MAPS-sponsored clinical trials and IITs.
Bridget believes in the healing potential of psychedelics, when used appropriately and safely, and cares very deeply about the work being done at MAPS. She is delighted to assist with research that is personally very meaningful, and potentially very helpful for individuals and society.
Bridget lives in Atlanta in a 130-year-old house with a bunch of black cats. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, collecting records, going to shows, learning Swedish, as well as cooking food for and hosting dear friends, family, and her favorite touring bands.
Katherine Miller, Clinical Research Associate (MAPS PBC)
Kate earned a B.A. in anthropology in 2014 from Indiana University, Indianapolis. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Kate worked as a clinical research coordinator for a global SMO conducting trials on a gamut of conditions to include vaccines, insomnia, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, Type II diabetes, and migraines. She also worked as a clinical research technician and social media specialist for IU School of Medicine, conducting trials on schizophrenia and initiating a social media campaign to raise awareness for mental health and promote their clinical research studies.
At MAPS PBC, Kate is currently serving as a clinical research associate, supporting the Phase 3 MDMA-Assisted psychotherapy studies for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Kate is thrilled to provide her previous experience and contribute to MAPS PBC. She has a passion to help normalize and break the taboo surrounding not only mental health, but also alternative mental health treatments, like psychedelics. She is honored to be able to contribute and is excited to see the cultural change that psychedelic therapy and the exploration of consciousness brings to our society.
Kate resides in colorful Colorado with her husband and two cardigan welsh corgis. In her free time, Kate enjoys hiking new trails, candid photography, reading and writing, crafting up a storm, impromptu dance sessions in the kitchen, and taking entirely too many photos of her corgis.
Lorna Muiruri, Document Control Specialist (MAPS PBC)
Lorna Muiruri earned a bachelor’s degree in public health in 2020 from Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, she worked at Syneos Health as a TMF document specialist II, where she supported several sponsor studies.
At MAPS PBC, Lorna Muiruri is currently serving as a document control cpecialist, focusing on quality control, and filing of regulatory documentation.
She is passionate about mental health awareness and is honored to join MAPS/MPBC to help in the research that is navigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.
In Lorna’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, hiking, and is a frequent traveler to Topsail Island Beach, where she is always sure to visit the sick turtles at Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation.
Larry Narachi, IT Program Manager (MAPS PBC)
Larry brings over 20 years of IT leadership to MAPS PBC. He is skilled in strategic planning and execution of IT specific regulatory compliance. Larry has a strong technical background with his work at medical device manufacturers General Surgical Innovations and Kyphon, as well as experience with Software-as-a-Service organizations. Larry is passionate about the mission at MAPS PBC and in his spare time Larry plays drums, rides his road and mountain bicycles and enjoys the outdoors.
Amanda Nary, Clinical Research Associate (MAPS PBC)
Amanda earned a B.S. in biology in 2015 from the University of Colorado, Denver. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Amanda worked as a study coordinator where she helped to conduct MAPS-sponsored trials in Boulder, CO. She also worked as a clinical research coordinator for an SMO conducting trials focusing on type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and hypertension.
At MAPS PBC, Amanda is currently serving as a clinical research associate, working on Phase 3 MDMA-asisted psychotherapy studies for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Amanda is passionate about research and mental health treatment and is thrilled to bring her previous experience working on these trials to the MAPS PBC team. In Amanda’s free time, she enjoys watching movies, playing volleyball, and spending time with her family, friends, and dog.
Jessica Neal, Regulatory Publishing Specialist (MAPS PBC)
Jessica Neal earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the Ohio State University in 2012. She most recently worked at a mid-size CRO, first in QA then moving into regulatory affairs. In regulatory, she worked as a publisher, managing submissions to the FDA for various sponsor companies.
At MAPS PBC, Jessica is currently working as a regulatory publishing specialist, where she supports regulatory affairs. She works with her team to plan and publish eCTD submissions to regulatory agencies.
Jessica is passionate about bringing more awareness to mental health disorders and feels honored to be a part of a team that is committed to the MAPS PBC mission. She resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her pets, gaming, traveling, and spending time outdoors. She also volunteers with a group to help find homes for rescue dogs.
Gatisa Noble, Video Consent Coordinator (MAPS PBC)
Gatisa earned a Holistic Health Counseling Certificate in 2001 from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC and an ISO 9001:2000/AS9100 Internal Auditor Certificate in 2005 from Excel Partnership. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), she worked in various fields including nonprofit fundraising, public administration, data management, and product manufacturing and distribution. Most recently, Gatisa worked as an Administrative Aide at the County of Santa Cruz, where she learned about the inner workings of our local and State public health systems. Gatisa also served as Director of Membership and Sales at MAPS PBC’s parent organization, MAPS, from 2010-2011. She is delighted that her path has led her back to MAPS PBC nearly a decade later.
At MAPS PBC, Gatisa is currently serving as Video Consent Coordinator, processing release requests for clinical video. Gatisa is passionate about whole person care and is thrilled to be helping to create a new, accessible framework for healing that prioritizes people above profit. In her free time, Gatisa enjoys volunteer fundraising, vegetarian cooking, coloring and making play-doh art with her two sons, listening to Eckhart Tolle, researching everything under the sun, and making millions of plans for the future.
Titi Olaosebikan, Clinical Data Manager (MAPS PBC)
Titilope Olaosebikan earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2009 from the University of Abuja, Nigeria. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Titi worked as a clinical data manager on phase I to IV studies in both CRO and pharma. She pays sharp attention to details and is experienced in oncology, cardiovascular, respiratory, immunology therapeutic areas.
At MAPS PBC, Titi is currently serving as a clinical data manager working on different aspects of data management from study startup to database lock. She is focusing on collecting and ensuring data accuracy in different MAPS PBC studies.
Titi is involved in validating new data, raising queries to the site and reviewing site responses.
She is passionate about learning and committed to making the world a better place by being the change she wants to see in the world.
Titi joined MAPS PBC in order to contribute her knowledge to the development, improvement and acceptance of psychedelic treatments in the world at large.
She dreams of a safer environment and believes in the safe use of psychedelics to understand the dynamics in mental health.
In Titi’s free time, she enjoys reading to her two daughters, loves to try food from all over the world and hang out with friends.
Chelsea Pamplin, TMF Associate (MAPS PBC)
Chelsea earned an Integrated Master’s degree in pharmacology in 2018 from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
She has long been fascinated by the effects that psychedelics have on the brain, their therapeutic potential in mental health and as a tool in understanding consciousness.
Prior to joining MAPS PBC, she worked as a research administrator at the University of Liverpool supporting several clinical research studies looking at the pharmacogenetics of adverse drug reactions.
At MPBC, Chelsea is currently serving as a TMF associate, focusing on the filing, maintenance, and quality control of regulatory documentation.
Chelsea is passionate about drug reform and is honored to be helping MAPS PBC in their research demonstrating the therapeutic potential of MDMA and psychedelics.
Phillip Perl, Clinical Research Associate (MAPS PBC)
Phillip earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, he worked at the University of California, San Francisco as a Research Coordinator on psychedelic-assisted therapy clinical trials. At MAPS PBC, Phillip is serving as a Clinical Research Associate, focusing on Phase 3 clinical trials MDMA-assisted therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is excited to contribute to the effort of making effective treatments accessible to those who need them most. In his free time, Phillip enjoys reading, climbing, traveling, and spending time in nature.
Sarah Pihl, Quality System Associate (MAPS PBC)
Sarah earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 2019. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Sarah worked as a Research Assistant in the developmental research labs at UCSC and as an Analytic Intern for a software start-up, MotiveMetrics, in Palo Alto. Sarah's two years of UCSC lab work focused on moral development in infants and she continues to read on the subjects of moral reasoning and cognition in her free time.
At MPBC, Sarah is currently serving as the Quality System Associate. Her responsibilities include: maintaining and expanding the controlled document library, training employees within the quality system, and supporting the Clinical Systems and Quality Manager. Sarah is excited to continue working for MPBC in the hopes of finding an efficacious treatment for PTSD that does not require the long-term use of medicinal products. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading, drinking herbal teas, and playing ultimate frisbee in the SF Bay area.
Michelle Pleshe, Director of Data Management and Services (MAPS PBC)
Michelle Pleshe earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1985 from Old Dominion University. Prior to joining the MAPS PBC, Michelle worked in clinical data management at IQVIA as a director of programming shared service where she lead a team of clinical study designers and validation leads. During Michelle’s 29 years at IQVIA, she has worked across all phases of studies and multiple therapeutic areas. She has extensive experience in building and validating clinical studies in multiple EDC platforms and developing strong technical teams. At MAPS PBC, Michelle will serve as Director of Data Management and Services, focusing on the oversight of clinical system and software development through the lifecycle including evaluation, implementation/development, maintenance, archiving, and documentation.
Michelle is passionate about giving back to the community. She volunteers her time with SPCA of Wake County to help pets find their forever home and supports North Carolina Special Olympics as an athlete assistant during competitions.
Michelle joined MAPS PBC in order to use her many years of experience in clinical research to have a closer connection to the research and patients involved. She is passionate about the mission and believes these therapies can save lives and make a true difference to thousands.
In Michelle’s free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is working on improving her photography skills and loves to take pictures of nature displaying passion and glory.
John Poncini, Video and Informatics Systems Associate (MAPS PBC)
John earned a bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering in 2018 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, John worked as a grader and tutor for the UCSC Biomolecular Engineering Department where he aided students in learning how to use and apply computational biological tools to their research. John also participated in The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, where he and his peers pursued the development of salt tolerant cellulolytic enzymes for second-generation biofuel production.
At MAPS PBC, John is currently serving as a Video and Informatics Systems Associate, focusing on developing software applications and platforms for recording, processing, and delivering video of sponsored MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions. He has played a role in maintaining the security and confidentiality of these sensitive data whilst providing access to authorized personnel in the MDMA Therapy Training Program. John is passionate about applying his knowledge in data sciences, technology, and engineering to clinical contexts with the hope of creating a general purpose platform to facilitate diagnostics and the administration of personalized medicines. In his free time, John can be found brewing beer or mead, playing guitar, or out enjoying the natural beauty of this world.
Dorna Pourang, Clinical Trial Leader (MAPS PBC)
After earning a B.S. in Biology from the University of Florida, Dorna worked on the clinical development of several experimental biologics that received FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation. Her decade of research experience ranges from the pre-clinical phase, to conducting clinical trials directly with patients, to managing clinical operations and development at biopharmaceutical sponsors. She has worked on studies in a variety of therapeutic areas across all phases including oncology, rheumatology, dermatology, and infectious diseases. With this background, she is deeply driven to integrate her work in a way that progressively serves humanity. As a Clinical Trial Leader for investigator-initiated studies at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Dorna is passionate about contributing to the safe advancement of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to profoundly impact her generation and future generations to come. In her free time, Dorna enjoys yoga, music festivals, and exploring nature in Los Angeles.
Shannon Prahl, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., Clinical Supervision Program Manager (MAPS PBC)
Shannon Prahl, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., is the Clinical Supervision Program Manager at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. As Clinical Supervision Program Manager, Shannon oversees the development and implementation of programs that provide clinical supervision to therapists who have completed the MDMA Therapy Training Program and are delivering MDMA-assisted therapy.
Shannon’s career reflects her love of learning and commitment to engaging others in their ongoing development and growth. She is a licensed psychotherapist and works with a diverse caseload of clients in a private practice setting. She holds a professional educator license and has worked with children and families in the school setting. Shannon has an extensive background in clinical supervision, overseeing clinical supervision programs at Aurora University and Loyola University Chicago. At Aurora University Shannon served as adjunct professor, teaching graduate courses in the School of Social Work. Shannon is inspired by the healing possibilities of psychedelic assisted therapy and is excited to be part of the team working to bring this new pathway to healing to all who may benefit.
Shannon earned her M.S.W. from Loyola University Chicago in the field of Clinical Social Work and received her B.A. from North Central College in the fields of Psychology and Sociology. Her passion for expansion, growth, and healing is expressed through additional coursework in naturopathy, geology and her certification and ongoing training in reiki and other methods of healing and energy work. Shannon loves the outdoors and is inspired by new adventures.
Mike Ruggles, Financial Analyst (MAPS PBC)
Mike Ruggles earned a bachelor of science degree in finance, with a focus on actuarial mathematics, in 2012 from Bryant University. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Mike worked in the corporate sector as a lead financial analyst, where he developed financial data forecasting tools to drive efficient and intelligent business practices. He also assisted in successful operational integration for large scale acquisitions, as a member of a global incentive compensation team.
At MAPS PBC, Mike is currently serving as a financial analyst, assisting with budgeting and forecasting cycles, modeling financial and operational analytics, and developing metrics to evaluate and direct business performance.
Mike joined MAPS PBC in order to explore and contribute to the exciting field of alternative medicine, while continuing to develop as a financial business partner. He cares greatly about advancing accessibility to effective treatment of mental health around the world and is committed to using his analytical and financial skills to help MPBC continue to evolve and progress.
In his free time, Mike is an active outdoorsman as a splitboarder, conservationist, and bow hunter in the mountains of Montana.
Aspen Schwind, Clinical Research Associate (MAPS PBC)
Aspen earned her B.A in integrative biology with an emphasis in human biology, as well as a minor in global public health, from the University of California Berkeley in 2019. Aspen completed the Clinical Research Conduct and Management Certification program through UC Berkeley Extension in May 2020 with plans to pursue the Association of Clinical Research Professional (ACRP) certification. Aspen previously served as a clinical study assistant at MAPS PBC with an emphasis on duties necessary to execute clinical research trials that include document tracking and filing, file migration, document development, and overall support of the clinical operations team. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Aspen worked at the Emotion, Health, and Psychophysiology Lab at UC San Francisco where she directed lab sessions examining sleep deprivation in romantic dyads, scored HRV data for a study of oxytocin administration to parents of schizophrenic minors, and constructed a lab protocol for Harvard’s inducing optimism study.
Aspen is currently serving as a clinical research associate at MAPS PBC supporting the Phase 3 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Aspen has a passion for expanding treatment options to disenfranchised populations around the world and is excited to work at MAPS PBC to help that vision become a reality. In her free time, Aspen enjoys hiking around the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains, learning to cook, drawing, gardening, and experiencing new cultures through travel.
Erica Scott, Director of People and Culture (MAPS PBC)
Erica is a dynamic business professional with a bachelor's degree in global business and a master's degree both from Arizona State University. With over 20 years in the human resource field, her professional experience includes working with various local businesses, start-ups, and national companies. Erica holds certifications with two global agencies obtaining the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) designation. To demonstrate her commitment to work with the veteran community, she also holds the Veterans at Work certification from the SHRM Foundation. She also attended Southwest Institute for Healing Arts to complete a certification in life coaching. Erica lives in Phoenix and loves to travel attending comic-cons, brushing up on her Russian, studying the violin, and trying to turn her brown thumb green with an array of houseplants from a veteran who has the patience of a saint.
Chris Shelley, Ph.D., Clinical Systems, Senior Clinical Systems Specialist (MAPS PBC)
Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 2005 from the University of Bristol, a master’s degree in mathematics in 2011 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a doctorate in mathematics in 2013 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Chris worked as an Assistant Professor, teaching mathematics and investigating the connections between arithmetic and geometry.
At MAPS PBC, Chris is currently serving as Clinical Systems, Senior Clinical Systems Specialist, focusing on the IT component of MAPS PBC’s therapy training and supervision programs. He is passionate about computing and software development, and is excited to draw from his academic background to aid in the development of online training resources for MAPS PBC. Chris hopes the work and research conducted by MAPS PBC will help transform the lives of those suffering from PTSD.
Lillian Smith, Adherence and Supervision Coordinator (MAPS PBC)
Lillian Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a minor in public health from Boston University in 2013. As an undergraduate, Lillian interned at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, working on European pharmaceutical policy. Following graduation, she worked in Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa’s lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she used optogenics to study the neural circuitry involved in learning and memory. Lillian was most recently a preclinical researcher at Decibel Therapeutics in Boston, where she helped discover new therapies to treat hearing loss and other inner ear disorders.
At MAPS PBC, Lillian is an Adherence and Supervision coordinator, supporting the oversight of therapists involved in MAPS-sponsored trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. She focuses on the coordination of Adherence and Supervision programs for the MP18 trial in Europe. MP18 is a Phase 2 trial (open-label) that will lead into MAPP3, our Phase 3 (RCT) trial in Europe.
Lillian is a dedicated meditator and has lived as a resident at the Cambridge Zen Center in Cambridge, MA., for more than two years. As part of her residency, she helps to support meditation retreats and leads several meditation groups, including a bi-weekly group at the Women’s Prison in Framingham, MA. Lillian is currently completing her Level 2 meditation instructor training through Unified Mindfulness.
Lillian is thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved with such a cutting-edge clinical trial. She is excited about the unlocked potential of psychedelics to change the way we treat trauma and mental illness.
In her free time, Lillian is a dedicated cyclist and rower. She loves cooking and spending time with her family on their organic farm in Wisconsin.
Nicole Tavernier-Luebcke, Contracts Administrator (MAPS PBC)
Nicole Tavernier-Luebcke earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a focus on clinical research from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2019. Nicole is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate degree at USF. Nicole has over 13 years of experience in a diverse range of practice areas in the legal field. At MAPS PBC, Nicole serves as Contracts Administrator and manages the contracting process from initiation to completion, works with internal staff and legal counsel on reviewing and editing agreements, facilitates execution, and stores and maintains documents in the contracts database.
Nicole enjoys hanging out with her family, drawing, painting, playing disc golf with her husband, attending plays and musical theater with her daughter, and traveling to visit her son and granddaughter in Colorado.
Sara J. Garcia Velazquez, M.D., Medical Monitor (MAPS PBC)
Sara J. Garcia Velazquez, M.D., is a general physician who obtained her medical degree from the University of the State of Michoacan in Mexico in 2012. In 2009, after finishing her medical internship at a state hospital, Sara worked as the lead social service physician in rural areas of Mexico for the Mexican Board of Health. She treated diverse indigenous populations, where she learned the importance of knowing their traditional medicines, including psychedelics, that have been used for generations for treatment of various illnesses and wellness. During this time, Sara used research as a means to improve the infrastructure for patient education, disease screening, and medications for the rural patient population, developing a protocol that outlined how cultural characteristics affect risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes.
Subsequently, in 2013 she moved to the Bay Area, where she studied music at the Pyramind Studios for two years, pursuing her interest in medicine and the healing properties of music. In 2016, she joined the San Francisco Clinical Research Center, where she gained valuable clinical and research experience as a clinical research coordinator and cognitive rater. There she spearheaded protocols in the therapeutic areas of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, cluster headaches, Migraine, and posttraumatic persistent headache.
Sara continued her clinical research journey in 2018 at Science 37, a telemedicine and mobile technology company specializing in virtual clinical trials. As a clinical research coordinator, she assisted with patient eligibility, trial execution, peer, and participant training to bring trial participation directly to the participant's home safely and efficiently. The therapeutic areas covered during this time were chronic degenerative diseases (Type 2 diabetes) and neurology (multiple sclerosis and migraines).
Sara followed MAPS' work through the years as she grew up in a medical research household with the works of Dr. Albert Hoffman, Dr. Stan Grof, and Dr. Alexander and Ann Shulgin on the bookshelves. In 2020 she is honored with the opportunity to join the MAPS PBC team as a medical monitor, applying her experience and passion for biomedical knowledge to bring psychedelic medicine to all patients.
Sara is also a musician, a dancer, a traveler, and an avid hiker. .
Brieta Ventimiglia, M.A., Clinical Trial Leader (MAPS PBC)
Brieta earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Statistics in 2005 from Winona State University and a master’s degree in Applied Statistics in 2008 from the University of Western Michigan. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Brieta worked as a Clinical Database and Project Manager where she monitored and managed multiple device trials.
At MAPS PBC, Brieta is currently serving as a Clinical Trial Leader for the pharmacokinetics studies and expanded access program. She believes the research conducted by MAPS PBC is essential to provide healing to those who are suffering. Brieta is firmly committed to MAPS/MAPS PBC’s vision and values and is excited to be a part of such a talented team. In her free time, she can be found exploring the outdoors, camping, hiking, or skiing.
Jason Vetrano, SPHR, Program Analyst (MAPS PBC)
Jason earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Wayne State University, and a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Naropa University. He also recently obtained a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) credential from the HR Certification Institute. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Jason worked as the Business Officer in the Office of Admissions at Colorado State University, where he managed the budget, as well as the human resources functions for the department. At MAPS PBC, Jason is currently serving as Finance and Human Resources Specialist, focusing on contracts, payments and invoicing, and all things related to human resources. Jason was introduced to MAPS by his wife Laura, who is a therapist training in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. He is thrilled to be doing meaningful work at MAPS, and filled with gratitude that there is a part for him to play in helping to advance the mission. Jason lives in Fort Collins, CO, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hiking, running, reading, making music, and cooking.
Julie Wang, M.P.H., Ph.D., Senior Clinical Data Scientist (MAPS PBC)
Julie Wang, M.P.H., Ph.D., is a data scientist with clinical research expertise in public health interventions. Her dissertation and research fellowship focused on developing and testing IoT solutions in both clinical and real-world settings to promote, measure, and analyze lifestyle behaviors (i.e., diet, physical activity, and smoking cessation). Dr. Wang completed further training in data science at General Assembly in San Francisco to advance analytic skillsets in working with large and complex mobile/digital datasets. She is enthused by data-driven decision-making and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. At MAPS PBC, Dr. Wang supports statistical analysis of clinical data for research development and regulatory affairs. Education: B.A. in Liberal Arts/ Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution and MPH (Global Health Promotion) at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; Ph.D. in Public Health (Behavioral Science) at UC San Diego in La Jolla, CA; and post-doctoral research fellowship at UC San Francisco in San Francisco, CA. Publications: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=1qXVwywAAAAJ&hl=en
Jane Zahniser, Program Analyst (MAPS PBC)
Jane graduated from the University of Arizona in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Jane worked at KPMG in the audit practice while becoming a certified public accountant. She then transitioned to a finance role at a software technology company within the public transportation sector. At MAPS PBC, Jane is currently serving as Program Analyst, following site studies from contract & budget execution through to completion to assess performance.
In Jane’s free time, you can find her on the mountain either skiing or foraging for mushrooms, at an open-air concert or show, or riding her bike around town. Her passion projects consist of transportation equity and accessibility for all, the environmental impact of modern day agriculture, and the healing potential of psychedelic drugs!